click here to view/download this paleo guide as a pdf
what is paleo?
what is paleo?
eating and living lifestyle based on the paleolithic human being
paleo is defined as a prefix that means “prehistoric” (as in paleontology) or “early or primitive” (as in Paleolithic).
paleo defined here is eating in such a way that a paleolithic human being or hunter-gatherer would have. many people think of paleo as not just a way of eating, but also a lifestyle based on how we are designed as creatures to live in nature.
i imagine by now you are thinking ...
“why the @#&% do i need to live like a cave person when i live in a modern day world?”
well, its pretty simple: for your long-term health, to feel good and be happy! :)
... and not just feel good but awesome! this lifestyle is about feeling like the strong creature you were designed to be. a lot of the modern “lifestyle” is accompied by habits that are just not in accordance with how we were designed to live as creatures. as a reaction to all these modern ways we need to now think about how to purposefully take care of our body the way they were taken care of on a naturally lived lifestyle of a hunter-gatherer. meaning, the lifestyle of a hunter-gatherer naturally nutured their bodies with awesome food filled with nutrients, natural movement exercise, play and relaxation.
now, dont get a ahead of yourself, im not suggesting we all go back to living that way! ... not yet at least :) ... i love my modern technology and happy to not have to worry about being attaked by a tiger just going for a walk around the neighborhood.
paleo is about living in a way that nurtures the genetics that are desirable that we inherently have. for a LONG time our genetics, our species, lived on a paleolithic diet and just in the last 10,000 years, with the begining of agriculture and the neolithic age, have we begun to consume grains, legumes and dairy. now, even more recently, our foods are being genetically modified and processed with toxins and to the point of no nutritional value. its no wonder there is an epidemic of diseases!
when you begin to eat food that your body is designed to assimilate and reduce your toxins, you allow your body to take care of itself! staying fit comes naturally, energy is constant and steady, and it’s easier to feel happy ... which means less moodiness!
what do you mean by ...
why is this good for my long term health?
ultimately this eating lifestyle is about eating what your species is designed to eat and thrive on. the other part of this diet, is about dramatically reducing or ridding your diet of processed foods and toxins. our bodies are made to best assimilate foods straight from nature. when it is chemically altered, it changes the chemistry of the original state. cooking is one thing, altering the DNA of food without thorough testing is another. without understanding the synergy of food and its interaction with our bodies, in my opinion, i believe it is dangerous to think we can receive the same nutrients from genetically modified foods. ok i digress! basically, eating REAL FOOD will ultimately help you feel better, give your body what it needs to get good energy and heal itself. and for long term health that means, giving your body what it needs to stay happy, healthy, fit and free of toxins!
what are toxins?
toxins are things that make the body work hard to cleanse itself from ... unwanted things in the body, unneccessary and possibly harmful if the body does not process. so as an analogy: if you dont maintain your car and put crappy gas in it or something its not meant to run on, you are going to ruin the engine FAST! sames goes with the body. if you dont give it what its designed to eat and you’re giving it a higher percentage of toxins, then you’re not only making your body work hard, but you’re wearing it down. soon, its efficiencey of cleansing itself of toxins will go down and thats what happens when you age too quickly. by taking care of your body and not giving it toxins then you will maximize the benefit of a strong, healthy body and feeling awesome!
what are some examples of toxins?
too much sugar, processed sugar like high fructose corn syrup, preservatives that do not naturally occur in nature, and alcohol (yes there is some benefit to moderate alcohol but it is still a toxin).
overall, you want to reduce the amount of toxins you injest on a daily basis to keep your engine running clean.
i dig it ...
what can i eat?
specifically: meat, poultry, fish, seafood, vegetables, and some fruit and nuts.
the reasoning behind what to eat is based on how a hunter-gatherer would eat. the only technology available was a spear, a bow and arrow and fire. so basically if you can pick it or kill it out in nature, its on the diet.
here’s an example list:
cornish game hen
what do i NOT eat?
grains (corn is a grain)
legumes (peanuts and soy are a legume)
tubers (potatoes and sweet potatoes)
a note about sweet potatoes:
some people will eat sweet potatoes to build muscle bulk. whether you choose to eat these is up to you. i keep it off the diet.
a note about dairy:
there are studies that show benefits of raw whole milk from grass-fed cows, same with raw cheese and yogurt. some people may have genetics that have adapted to dairy. who knows. i say dairy sometimes in moderation or as a treat and must come from a good source.
overall, you really want to stay away from the grain products, beans, and processed sugar.
... but WHY should i not eat grains legumes, or processed sugar??
please refer to Dr. Loren Cordain, Robb Wolf, and Mark Sisson as they do a great job of explaining this (look at my resources section for their books). they all have books which explain the reasoning in-depth and scientifically and they have done the research to back it up.
where do i want to buy my food?
unfortunately, eating food isnt as simple as it used to be. if its a vegetable or fruit its real food, right? that’s ok right? yes ... but is it genetically modified? is it covered in pesticides? is your meat filled with antibiotics? was the animal raised in a humane way or in a feedlot? these factors affect the quality of food you will be giving your body ... but what and where should you be buying from?
farmers’ markets are the best source for quality food! the produce is fresh picked and the meat comes from small farms with often times humanely raised animals.
vegetables & fruits
no genetically modified foods (corn, soy, cotton, canola).
often times farms dont have the money to get the certification for organic but grow in an organic way. it’s good to go to the farmers markets so that you can talk to the farmers and know how they raise their food. not only that, you are supporting your local community.
meat, poultry & seafood
beef - eat grass-fed only if possible! if you are unsure of the source of your beef, make sure the meat is lean and not fatty.
pork - you want to be sure they are raised humanely with plenty of roaming space and a species appropriate diet.
chicken - be sure they are free-range, getting to roam where they please and fed a species appropriate diet.
seafood - gets complicated depending on what you eat, seafood is raised and caught many different ways. its best to research the seafood before you buy it.
in a world of information that continues to change you must EDUCATE YOURSELF! stay on top of what is safe to eat and not ... always consider the source of information and if its credible and if it makes sense!
if you are unsure of something, look it up! the information is out there!
empower yourself with your health!
clean out your kitchen
create a structure for success!
get rid of all the processed foods, foods with preservatives, anything that will tempt you in the process of making the transition.
the first 2 weeks is the hardest. your body will crave sugar. having a clean kitchen will keep you on track :)
ok eating paleo while going out to eat is ... tricky. usually you can find a meat and veggie dish at most restaurants or you can alter the dish by not eating the rice, bread or pasta. however, you dont know where they get their food which is the hardest part. i usually end up eating at home more often because of this but sometimes you go out to eat. in the end, you make the most of the situation, sometimes you must give up knowing where the food comes from, or you just let it go completely and have a “splurge” meal.
ok, so, yea i LOVE paleo but every once in a while, i want that nachos, pizza, burger, or bagel!! i like to give myself room for splurging once in a while. the deal is if you’re supporting your lifestyle with a good foundation for a large percentage of the time, eating foods that you crave sometimes helps you keep on going instead of depriving yourself. i think its healthy to allow yourself that room ;) keep in mind splurging is for one meal here and there ... not to make a habit!
integrating a habit of constant movement will nurture a healthy, strong body and support the eating habits. with a little consistent movement you can have a body that maintains muscle tone quite easily.
do an activity that’s fun for you to do and not just going to the gym. get variety, but overall consistent activity for the your muscles and joints.
do it !
nothing to it but to do it!
you got the knowledge and the resources ... now put it into action!
you can do it!!
Neanderthin by Ray Audette
The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain, Ph.D, www.thepaleodiet.com
The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf, www.robbwolf.com
The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson, www.marksdailyapple.com
Mark posts on his blog regularly and has a lot of great articles - great source for discussion on paleo food and lifestyle
Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso - this is a cookbook and blog, www.everydaypaleo.com - great source for recipes and she has a podcast that she does with Growing up Paleo - great info for people who are trying to do paleo with their family/kids
Balanced Bites, Diane Sanfilippo a holistic and paleo nutrition coach, www.balancedbites.com
The Healthy Skeptic blog, www.thehealthyskeptic.org, lots of great articles and discussion on food and living
Nerd Fitness, www.nerdfitness.com
- very entertaining and fun blogger!
- blog post of his on the Paleo diet: www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2010/10/04/the-beginners-guide-to-the-paleo-diet/
Dr. Michael & Mary Eades, www.proteinpower.com/books.htm
movies ... these are all available on netflix instant watch
Fat Head Movie
The comedian who created Fat Head did a lecture in a library:
The Future of Food
disclaimer: this is not meant to be a replacement for medical or professional advice on health. everything in here is based on my own research on the topic and/or my own thoughts on the lifestyle.
click here to view/download this paleo guide as a pdf